Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 12, 2014, Saanich, BC (ISN) – The Campbell River Storm blew into Pearkes Arena and received a hat-trick from Connor Logan and a pair of goals from Michael Olson to wipe out the Saanich Braves 8-0 in a Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) game Wednesday night in Saanich.
Campbell River’s Connor Logan would have 3 goals and 2 assists to lead the Storm to an 8-0 win over Saanich Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The league leading Storm, 16-2-1 heading into the game, were no match for the Braves, coming out and outshooting Saanich 16-4 in the first, 27-3 in the second and 55-16 for the game to cruise to the win.
The Braves actually held their own with the Storm in the first period, despite the imbalance in shots, and came out of the frame trailing just 1-0, thanks to solid goaltending from starter Brandon Ward, who would be beaten only on a rebound goal by Campbell River’s Tyler Welsh at the 5:48 mark of the frame.
Saanich’s Conner Allan skates away from the Storm’s Gage Colpron during Wednesday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Braves ended the period by taking a penalty and after killing that, took two more to begin the second period, and it was that third penalty in a row that proved costly, as Campbell River call-up Josh Coblenz would score his first of the year at 5:56 to put the Storm up 2-0. That goal opened the floodgates, and the Storm would score two more in quick succession, with Gage Colpron scoring at 6:33 and Michael Olson scoring at 7:34 to quickly make it 4-0.
Campbell River’s Zack Sanderson flys out of his zone during the first period Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That would be the end of the night for Braves starter Brandon Ward and he woud be replaced by backup Jason Stewart, making just his fifth appearance of the season. The move did not seem to slow down the Storm, as Stewart faced a breakaway on his very first shot just seconds after coming in the game (which he stopped) and faced another 17 shots over the remainder of the period. While he made a number of solid saves on those 18 shots, the Storm continued to blow at full force, attacking in waves and getting goals by Connor Logan, Olson (his second of the game) and Logan again, to finish the period up 7-0.
It was a tough night for Saanich goaltenders, including Jason Stewart, who had to stare down this breakaway by Campbell River’s Colin Blake just seconds after coming into the game for starter Brandon Ward. The Storm would pepper 55 shots total at the Braves. (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Storm would add one more on the Braves early in the third, when Logan completed his hat-trick, and after that, the teams would wind it down the rest of the way, with the only excitement being a small fight between Saanich’s Cameron Kovesdi and Campbell River’s Colin Blake, former teammates with Ridge Meadows last season in Midget.
Saanich’s Seamus Maguire carries the puck through the neutral zone Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Storm’s Jesse Michel, a native of Port Perry, Ontario, would make his debut in net for Campbell River after being acquired to replace former starter Joey Karrer who was recently traded to a mainland team. Michel would not be heavily tested and stopped all 16 shots he faced to get the shut-out win. Ward stopped 21 of 25 and took the loss for Saanich. Stewart stopped 26 of 30 in the relief effort.
Campbell River’s Andy Stevens carries the puck out of his zone Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The win pushes the Storm’s record to 17-2-1 and they now sit 4 points ahead of Victoria and Westshore for first overall in the league, and are 9 point up on Comox for first in the North. The Braves fall to 7-11-0-3 and are two points back of Kerry Park for third in the South.
The Braves will now look to regroup when they host Comox at Pearkes Arena this Friday (6:30) and then travel to Oceanside Saturday to face the Generals.
Campbell River’s Michael Olson would have a pair of goals to help pace the Storm attack on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
GAME NOTES: The Braves were missing Evan Horvath, Ben Meek and Nyshan Basra who are out with injuries, as well as Hunter Atchison who is up with the Junior A Trail Smokeeaters. The Braves called up Matt Forbes and Dale McCabe as APs for Wednesday’s game. Campbell River’s Logan also had a pair of assists for a 5 point evening. Six different Storm players had multi-point evenings.